Some exciting and surprising news surfaced last night, when we learned that Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle was being eyed to take the helm of James Bond 25. This was surprising for a few reasons, one being that the director search has been going on for months and had reportedly been whittled down to frontrunner Yann Demange (’71). With a November 2019 release date looming, would Annapurna Pictures and MGM really shake things up this “late” in the game? Well it turns out we didn’t know the half of it.
Deadline shines some light on the Boyle/Bond situation, reporting that Boyle hit it off with 007 himself Daniel Craig when he directed the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics, which featured a pre-taped bit with Craig as Bond interacting with the Queen of England herself. During that time, Boyle cooked up a very specific idea for a Bond movie, and it turns out that he and his Trainspotting and T2 Trainspotting writer John Hodge have now teamed up to work out the beats.
So what happens now? Well Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson sparked to Boyle and Hodge’s idea, so Hodge is now writing that screenplay. It’ll reportedly take a couple months to complete, and after that time Broccoli and Wilson will take a look and decide what to do next. If they like the screenplay, Boyle officially signs on and makes that Bond movie while the original Bond 25 screenplay gets shelved. That script was penned by longtime Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, whose credits range from Skyfall and Casino Royale to Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough.
If Broccoli and Wilson don’t like the finished Hodge script, they’ll go back to Purvis and Wade’s take and likely re-engage with Demange or Hell or High Water filmmaker David Mackenzie, both of whom have been on the Bond 25 shortlist for months, or potentially a different director.
This is a unique and interesting situation, especially with a ticking clock of a 2019 release date looming. Hodge has worked with Boyle many times, including on The Beach and Trance, so the two have a close rapport, and personally I’m beyond excited about the possibility of Boyle helming a Bond movie. Moreover, while Purvis and Wade have certainly written some great Bond movies, getting a genuinely fresh perspective into this franchise would be a nice change of pace.
So that’s where we stand, according to Deadline, which is hedging on the side of this all working out and Boyle signing on. I suppose we’ll find out in a couple of months.